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Confucius to Cummings
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This anthology is Ezra Pound's own choice of the poetry of various ages and cultures-ranging from his translations of the Confucian Odes up to E. E. Cummings-which he considered the finest of its type. It is a statement by example of the "Pound critical canon" and, as such, a short course in the history of world poetry, useful alike for the student and the general reader. Nearly a hundred poets are represented, a number of them in Pound's own translations, with emphasis on the Greek and Latin, Chinese, Troubadour, Renaissance, and Elizabethan. Of particular interest are the notes on certain of the poems and poets which Pound supplied in comment on his selections.
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New Directions has been the primary publisher of Ezra Pound in the U.S. since the founding of the press when James Laughlin published New Directions in Prose and Poetry 1936. That year Pound was fifty-one. In Laughlin's first letter to Pound, he wrote: "Expect, please, no fireworks. I am bourgeois-born (Pittsburgh); have never missed a meal... But full of 'noble caring' for something as inconceivable as the future of decent letters in the US." Little did Pound know that into the twenty-first century the fireworks would keep exploding as readers continue to find his books relevant and meaningful.

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